The project was based on the transportation problems of disabled children in South Africa, who needed to be taken to school and back. These children spend up to 3 hours in a bus every day. Children with cerebral palsy need constant postural support, howeverthe transport vehicles in these areas are usually neither equipped with seatbelts, nor do the seats provide body support. Provisional belts are used or the children lie on the seats and in the trunk. This makes their transportation unsafe and unhealthy for many reasons.
The first development phase was in 2008, when I came to Cape Town with a project grant from Asa Inwent. While researchingdisability equipment I came across the social enterprise Shonaquip and met Shona Mcdonald for an interview about her wheelchairs. A short time later I started to use her facilities for my work on the IZI Seat. With her team I had the chance to build a series of functional one-to-one prototypes, that were placed in the buses of a day care centre from Cape Mental Health. After one year I returned to South Africa and evaluated the product and its functionality with a questionnaire and my own eyes. Most of the seats were still in use but had missing parts. With the help from the Shonaquip team I built a new generation of prototypes and tested them in several centres with a team of physiotherapists.